It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine

It's Psychedelic Baby is an independent music magazine. We are covering alternative, underground, non-commercial and non-mainstream artists in variety of shapes and genres. Exclusive interviews, reviews and articles. A place where musicians can express themselves. We serve an international readership.

Belladonna of Sadness

Belladonna of Sadness (1973/2016, Cinelicious Pics)

Originally released in 1973 and mostly ignored at that time, Belladonna of Sadness is an erotic Japanese folk tale told by way of a psychedelic animated film. The story and its visions, which alternate between scenes of violence, eroticism, and mind-bending shapes and images, center around a young couple, Jean and Jeanne, who are in love with each other and would like to lead a simple but happy life together in the farming village where they reside. But the gorgeous Jeanne is first violated by the lord of the village and his people, and then courted by Satan. She never asked to have demonic powers, but when they are pressed onto her, she uses them in various ways, both for herself and the meek people of the village. Her beloved, meanwhile, slips into a state of alcoholic dissolution. It is a classic tale of innocence ruined by the evils of power, and the struggle between earthly pleasures and morality.  It was ahead of its time in many ways, including its feminist slant in having a woman possess powers over those in her vicinity. The animation mostly comes by way of stills – brilliant pop art paintings that one can’t help but marvel at, even when they depict disturbing moments. The visuals do much to tell the story, but there are also small amounts of narration and dialogue between characters. The musical score is as pleasurable as the artwork; Masahiko Satoh’s soundtrack is a swirling prog rock mini masterpiece that in its own way is as much of a driving force in the film as are the visions of director Eiichi Yamamoto and art director Kuni Fukai. Too intense for most filmgoers at the time of its release and kept underground until this Blu Ray reissue from Cinelicious Pics, Belladonna of Sadness should be seen as a classic of animated film on a par with Yellow Submarine, Fritz the Cat, and Fantastic Planet. This new edition boasts a restoration of the film complete with footage cut from the original negative, interviews with key personnel, and an informative and lushly illustrated booklet.

Review by Brian Greene/2016
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The Move - Move (1968) review

Unquestionably "The Definitive "Move"!!"

The Move, "Move" (Esoteric Recordings, UK 2016)

At last, The Move's eponymous debut album gets super deluxe treatment in this definitive reissue from Esoteric Recordings, UK.  This three CD, 65 track, 2 hour, 45 minute collection, with its 52 bonus tracks nearly doubles the 34 tunes contained on Salvo Record's two CD, 90 minute, 2007 reissue of "Move."  Add to that, the incredible sound and other amenities and you have the makings for an absolutely essential collection!

"Move" opens with the April, 1968, Regal Zonophone LP's thirteen tracks supplemented by thirteen bonus tracks, for a run time of 69 minutes, with everything presented in glorious mono.  From the opening notes of "Yellow Rainbow" the listener knows he is in for a real treat.  As for the album's tracks I find the band's cover of Moby Grape's "Hey Grandma" to not only match the original, but to perhaps be the best performance on "Move."  Other highlights include "Walk Upon The Water" with "Ace" Kefford's bass pushing Bev Bevan's drums into overdrive, and gorgeous vocals by Carl Wayne and album closer, "Cherry Blossom Clinic" with its pile driving beat led by Wood's guitar. The bonus material begins with three tracks from 1966, two previously unreleased and "You're The One I Need" with Roy Wood's guitar howling!  Next up are five tracks from Birmingham radio stations, also from 1966, and showcasing Wood's guitar and Wayne's vocals.  The rhythm section of "Ace" Kefford on bass and Bev Bevan on drums are tight throughout.  Next up are two singles, "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" and "Night Of Fear" along with their b-sides.  Two tracks tailor made for 45" release if ever I've heard them.  The singles did well in the UK, but did not garner the band attention in the US.  The disc closes with "Vote For Me" recorded in 1967 but going unreleased at the time.

The second disc of the set is dedicated to stereo mixes, 20 in all, 51 minutes of absolutely incredible rock and roll, beginning with "Night Of Fear" and including some tracks not available in mono, such as "Move Intro" with its harmonious vocal intro, followed by Bevan's machine gun drumming and Kefford's thundering bass introducing "Move" with its incredibly tasty, snarling guitar solo courtesy of Wood.  The band's vocal harmonies are on display on "Yellow Rainbow" and "Kilroy Was Here" both of which were included on the LP.   Both songs were great candidates for single release, but neither of which saw release on 45.  The snappy "(Here We Go Round)  The Lemon Tree," a great piece of pop rock in its own right follows, complete with Left Banke style strings.  All the album's tracks besides "Hey Grandma" are presented in stereo here, and in true stereo, with the exception of "Yellow Rainbow" which is found in an enhanced stereo version.  The disc is rounded out by alternate takes of "Vote Fore Me," "Night Of Fear" an un-dubbed version of "Disturbance" and an early piano version of "Fire Brigade."  The quality of material on display here is consistent, always interesting and always well performed.

The third disc contains the 19 tracks, 47 minutes, including two interviews with Carl Wayne, recorded in five sessions for the BBC between January, 1967 and January, 1968 and includes many songs never otherwise released as well as fresh takes on tunes from the LP.  The disc opens with the straight ahead rocker "You Better Believe It Baby."  Among the many standout tracks is the band's take on "Morning Dew" with Roy Wood contributing wah wah and fuzzed out guitar.  The band's version was obviously influenced by Tim Rose but rocks much harder.  Also, there is a wonderful cover of Love's "Stephanie Knows Who" with Wood's guitar and Wayne's vocals carrying the tune.  Wood's solo is especially interesting and Wayne's vocals are true to those of Arthur Lee on the song's original recording.  The band gives a fine performance on "It'll Be Me" with its harmonies and insistent groove and features another memorable solo and more snarling guitar by Wood.  The disc closes with recordings of two tracks from the LP, "Walk Upon The Water" and "Useless Information" both holding true, and equal, to their album counterparts.  

Mark Powell, assisted by his wife Vicky, did a wonderful job compiling "Move" for Esoteric Recordings, with five unreleased tracks, including three from the studio, making their way onto the collection.  The 24-bit remastering by Ben Wiseman at Broadlake Studios is outstanding, making The Move sound better than ever.  The set includes a poster of the album's artwork with news clippings and photos on the reverse side.  There is also a full color, 20 page booklet with complete track listings, an essay by Mark Paytress and many wonderful photographs.  

Okay, so this isn't the first time I've bought these albums and EP ("Something Else"), not by a long shot.  I thought the Salvo Records releases from 2007 and 2008, including a four CD box set with 31 of its 62 tracks being unreleased, would be the end of my Move purchases.  But, Esoteric has done an incredible job for fans of mod pop and psychedelic rock with this three disc set.  I think I can say with some certainty that this will indeed be the definitive "Move" at least for the foreseeable future.  Pick up a copy of it as well as the other three Esoteric Move reissues, to be reviewed here soon, put a disc in the player and travel back in time to the mid 1960s when bands like The Move filled the UK air waves and were treasured by hip mod music fans in the US and elsewhere.  Roy Wood may never have ingested psychedelic drugs but he certainly could write and play some of the most interesting music of the day with The Move.  "Move" is proof positive of that!

Review by Kevin Rathert/2016
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Eddie Baird - Exposed (2009) review

Eddie Baird - Exposed (Talking Elephant TECD 146; 26.56)

Eddie Baird is most well-known for his first (and only) recording band, Amazing Blondel, although he was also a session musician (e.g. on Paul Kossoff’s solo album) and auditioned for Dire Straits to replace Knopfler in the late ’70s. By then Amazing Blondel, one of the foremost exponents of what’s now called prog-folk (when superlatives like Amazing and Incredible String Band were legitimate not hype), were fragmented by the leaving of their principal song-writer after three Island albums. On many tours that included St. Paul’s Cathedral (on a bill with Cliff Richard!), they forged their own distinctive style that was as outside folk as it was any mainstream.

    Forty instruments for medieval-style ballads mixed with bawdy humour. Tuning the final lute, the first would be out of tune in the hot concert hall, until they had built 7-string guitars tuned to them with internal amplification, to play alongside 12 and 6 strings, crumhorn, cittern, theorbo, flutes, ocarina (also used by Dr. Strangely Strange), glockenspiel, and assorted keyboards and percussion. Group harmonies also required specific tunings: these guys knew their stuff! Shades of Jethro Tull’s and Forest’s whimsy from periods of yore, ISB’s inventiveness, and Dr. Strangely Strange’s uniqueness, with more breadth than Gryphon or Third Ear Band who, sadly, rarely went into the realm of comparable beauty.

    An early influence for Baird were The Shadows and Everly Brothers while in a school band that gigged for £2.10 shillings shared five ways (Spangles and Squash presumably rather than Whisky Macs). Typical school-leaving manual jobs then photographer on the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph, the locale of Blondel, didn’t interrupt gigging as far afield as Brigg, which attracted the attention of two professional musicians: John Gladwin and Terry Wincott. They had recorded an album with Methuselah, heavy prog rockers whose acoustic interlude live prompted their own band in ’69. Baird and a friend were invited to their house then a bit later he was invited to join them, after the debut Amazing Blondel album had been finished for Bell Records in late 1969. Four of the most beautiful band albums of the whole era appeared via Island Records from 1970-73: Evensong, Fantasia Lindum, England, and Blondel.

    John Gladwin left immediately after a three-week US tour in 1973, gigs with Genesis in Germany, and when a tour with Traffic was in the pipeline. Years of non-stop touring and recording (which the band loved most) had taken its toll. Baird had contributed to the song-writing but most were written by Gladwin. Island then rang for a new album, with a deadline of six weeks. Baird wrote all Blondel in five weeks, known as the purple album (they hadn’t dropped the full name, as the LP’s back cover proves), which includes Simon Kirke and Paul Rodgers both of Free, plus Steve Winwood on bass and top session singers (Jim Capaldi had guested on an earlier album continuing the Island link). Most of the songs would grace later concerts. Three studio albums as a duo for DJM followed in 1974-76 (Mulgrave Street, Inspiration, Bad Dreams), sadly declining a little after the first that had some strong material. The label issued Live in Japan in ’77, actually recorded live in Europe though easier for the marketeers during glam then punk and disco.

    Eddie Baird did session work and moved to Cornwall, when the well-known producer Tony Cox invited him to his Sawmills studio for a solo album. It was earmarked for Island but their A&R man left and the platter was shelved. It’s recently been available as a download, with It Don’t Feel Right on some reissues of Inspiration. Then Baird released the more jazz-influenced Hard Graft for DJM in ’76, a hard to find vinyl and even rarer CD of 1998. In 1993 Demon Records, under their Edsel imprint, started to release the original Island albums, more recently taken up as great twofers via BGO. A limited edition of Baird’s Also…was released around 2000. Due to Talking Elephant Records, originally under their HTD moniker, the band reformed in 1997and issued Restoration to which Baird contributed Aubaird and Edagio. Tours of England, Italy and Scandinavia followed, as did The Amazing Elsie Emerald (Talking Elephant, 2010), a modern-style collection by Baird which features John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick, also once associated with Free and latterly with The Who. They recorded some material together as Bundrick/Baird in 2010 which is a download issue.

    The label also issued live material by Amazing Blondel as a trio the following year, living up to an early review in the ’70s describing their ‘frequently stunning results’. On Youtube is an evocative Runaway (2008), from Abbey Cottage (2003) with Terry Wincott on 7-string who also put archive photographs there after the album was recorded in his studio. Blondel, co-produced by them, signalled wider styles and this is still adhered to today. The band now need someone to update their website, inactive since the turn of the century, to reflect this ever-interesting career. Since a CD issue in 2004 (Space to Hula), Baird has been working live and in the studio with Darryl Ebbatson alongside film projects. Ebbatson produced, engineered and sleeve-designed Exposed, recorded partly at SmallCog Studios during two years.

    Exposed (2009) is a good example of Baird’s solo material, stripped back from the bigger arrangements the group was always noted for as well as his multi-instrumental work. Nine songs (plus Amazing Blondel live in 2004: Sailing/Young Man’s Fancy from the purple album) as usual catch attention for their guitar dexterity and atmosphere. These are his key features, the songs evoke a place as a complete album experience that also overlaps in listeners’ imagination. Baird has that rare ability to create what other musicians need the big arrangement for. Never self-indulgent with echoes for most people, as the titles suggest (as on …Emerald: Fools Gold, Maybe, Don’t Turn Your Back, High Time, Here At Last etc).

    Four tracks are live: Lovebite opens in almost calypso style, as does …Elsie Emerald about a cool cocktail, but here ‘in a special kind of pain’. Friend Of Mine on what friendship means after a gap while waiting to see each other again, the passage of time too on Memory Lane from Abbey Cottage, while the short Tramp is about being free and neither tied nor cut out to follow another’s dream. Whilst current this could have appeared on any of Amazing Blondel’s albums depending on instrumentation. Shame refers to regret about behaviour (crying shame surfaces on Slip Away too about who to rely on), while Almost Gone is about what is done and needed in a relationship. Compromised ups the pace, but still the thoughtfulness is continued. A standout is Funny Old Life, with a familiar hook via capo on the second fret that I can’t quite pin down from where. Its musing on aging shows how Baird’s songs surface from deep reflections.

    There are nice lyrical touches, a conciseness about experience that lingers in the head afterwards, like a book carefully written rather than an isolated page. The modest Baird notes ‘I’ve had a remarkable song-writing career for over 35 years; to manage to avoid any commercial success in all that time is, I think you’ll agree, quite remarkable’. Some are just destined for deeper things. Varied guitar styles, rather like John Martyn or Bridget St. John, highlight a consummate master musician sharing life’s rich tapestry.

Review by Brian R. Banks/2016
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It's Psychedelic Baby presents: The Archaics - Soft Focus album premiere

The Archaics are a five-piece band with experimental tastes dipping through the familiar fervour of primal blues, the conscientious free-roamings of old-time jazz, and the dirty mystique of psychedelic garage-rock.
Soft Focus will be available at Sweety Pie Records.
Photo by Brock Mattsson

Psychedelic Attic #24

The Charlatans
Cheap Wine
The Pink Diamond Revue
Bellhound Choir
Dwiki Dharmawan
Telstar Sound Drone
Uther Pendragon

Mike Dekleva
Nancy McCallion
Kathy Greenholdt
Shawn Kingsberry
The Velveteins
Coastal Legends
Robin Baugh
Gregg Douglass and the Accomplices
Suit Of Lights
Dada Paradox
High Mountain Bluebirds
Jay Power
The Froot '67
Spray Paint
Gone Dead Train
The Love Dimension
RAZ Band
Angry Angles
Cheap Wine
Rod Brown
V.A. Astonishing Sound Show Stories Vol. II
Silent People
Bank Myna
Mark Sanders
Space Echo
The Age Of Reason
Robbie The Werewolf
La Rocca!
Bill Frisell
Chris Speed
Harris Eisenstadt
Hedvig Mollestad Trio
This Is Head


Bruce Cockburn - Rumours Of Glory (2014) review

Bruce Cockburn, "Rumours Of Glory" (True North Records, 2014)
Canadian National Treaure Documented and Celebrated

Forty five years, 1969 to 2014, of music from Canadian singer/songwriter, political activist, spiritual adventurer and guitarist extraordinaire Bruce Cockburn are celebrated in this magnificent eight CD, one DVD boxed set.  Compiled by Cockburn manager and True North Records founder Bernie Finkelstein, the collection contains 117 tracks on the CDS, 14 of them rare or unreleased, and another 19 live tracks on the DVD recorded on Cockburn's 2008 solo "Slice Of Life" tour.  The boxed set is a companion to Bruce's memoir, also titled "Rumours Of Glory" a 540 page documentation of Cockburn's life with the lyrics to 100 of the boxed set's titles woven into the prose for good measure.

How does one impart the scope of this most ambitious project?  Cockburn's songs transcend music, the lyrics filled with incredible metaphors and full of inspiration are a perfect match for his renowned prowess on guitar, acoustic and electric alike, as well as resonator and dulcimer.  Musician, spiritual traveler, ecologist, political activist, parent, all these describe Bruce Cockburn, the human being.  These attributes cannot help but stand out in Cockburn's musical catalog.  "Rumours Of Glory" delves deeply into this catalog with the first seven discs containing tracks selected from his 21 studio, 5 live and 5 compilation albums, the material being presented in nearly chronological order.  

Disc one opens with a couple of middle to later day recordings, first 1996s "The Charity Of Night" which "offers three separate vignettes spanning thirty years" including events in Honduras in 1985 when Cockburn witnessed the government of El Salvadore bomb its own people."  Next up is Cockburn's incredible song regarding the fate of the rain forests and conditions in Third World Nations, 1988s "If A Tree Falls" which poses the perennial question, "if a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?"  Cockburn's guitar work is especially good on this one, highlighted by an incredible solo.  Two tunes into the set and I already know I am holding something very special in my hands.  The best known Canadian musicians come to mind, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young the first two come to mind, and I am already comparing Cockburn's work on an equal level.  In contrast to Mitchell and Young, however, Cockburn chose to remain in his native Ontario, rather than relocate to the US.  This choice certainly came at the price of several million records, although he has managed to top the 7 million mark in world wide record sales as of 2014.

Following "If A Tree Falls" the set travels back to a much earlier time, 1969, for "Man Of A Thousand Faces" an autobiographical song about how Cockburn resembles a 
"chameleon, blending in with whoever he's with, but being not an impostor, but rather an observer, a contributor and someone who really cares."  The first two discs contain songs from Cockburn's folk years closing with Bruce's lone US hit single, 1979s "Wondering Where The Lions Are" which peaked at #21 on the Billboard charts and resulted in an appearance on Saturday Night Live.  A real highlight of disc two is "Stolen Land" recorded in 1986 lamenting the treatment of aboriginal people in Canada and Native Americans in the United States.  The music on the first two discs is almost entirely acoustic.  

By the time the songs from disc three get going, Bruce's involvement in international politics and relations comes to the fore of his music, beginning with 1983's "The Trouble With Normal" whose title track's chanted chorus,  like so many of Bruce's songs serves as both an accurate appraisal of the state of the world and a harbinger of the steady decline in quality of life conditions for citizens of places such as Central America and the Middle East.  Disc three contains what is probably Cockburn's best known song, 1984's "If I Had A Rocket Launcher" an anti-war song written while Cockburn was visiting Guatemalan  refugee camps in Southern Mexico and he cries out in anguish and outrage at the violence laid upon the refugees and laments not having an RPG to even things up a bit.  Cockburn's manager Bernie Finkelstein suggested the song be released as a single.  Cockburn countered that no radio station would program the song.  Luckily for us, Bernie's opinion won the day.  The song reached #94 on the US Billboard charts.  "Waiting For A Miracle" is especially touching as a cry of the Nicaraguan citizens' improvement in living conditions under the Sandinista government even as the world's most powerful nation, the United States, was doing all it could to undermine and displace the Sandinistas, an update of a topic Cockburn addressed in "Nicaragua" from 1983's "The Trouble With Normal."  

Cockburn isn't always so serious in his writing as in the classic (who put that bullet hole in) "Peggy's Kitchen Wall" a musical question that remained unanswered for many years until the shooter was identified in Bruce's memoir "Rumour Of Glory."  As the author whimsically lamented it would have been more fun if he'd never found out who did the shooting.  Likewise, 1998's "The Last Night Of The World" tells of Bruce's female friend of years before had said that she'd like to go out drinking champagne in a bath, whereas Bruce had a "survival" backpack with food, tools, and such.  Obviously her idea became desirable to Cockburn.  

By the mid-1980s Cockburn was also championing the then burgeoning HIV/AIDS cause with "Lovers In A Dangerous Time."  The song did very well on the Canadian charts and was slated to be released as a single in the US but attracted little attention south of the border.  1985 saw Bruce take aim at the IMF and its treatment of Third World nations in "IMF, dirty MF takes away everything it can get" and "you don't really give a flying fuck about the people in misery."  Powerful stuff, complete with an incredible guitar solo to close the tune.  Likewise, disc six's "The Mines Of Mozambique" expresses Bruce's disdain for land mines.  Some titles are rather self explanatory, such as "Gospel Of Bondage" and "Radium Rain" further evidence of Cockburn's concern for the planet.

On disc seven Bruce visits atrocities old and new in "Post Cards From Cambodia" and 
"This Is Baghdad" which serve as markers in time along Cockburn's life long gift for observing and reporting on the state of humanity.  It is as no wonder, and only fitting, that financial support for this project came, in part, from the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Music Fund Of Canada).  

Disc eight contains rare or unreleased tracks, 14 of them, nearly an hour in all.  Standouts include the philosophical "Wise Users."  This is the disc that will interest Cockburn fans the most.  Perhaps more rare tracks could have been included, but as a long time fan I am very pleased with the song selection overall.  There are a couple of tracks I would like to have had included, such as 1983's "Candy Man's Gone," but that is inevitable.  

The DVD included is from the 2008 "Slice Of Life" solo tour It includes 78 minutes of music, 19 tracks, and is the first ever full concert long DVD Cockburn has released.  The sound and video are excellent.  Some would like to have had video from Bruce's most commercially successful period in the 1980s included, but the set list is impressive and so is the playing.

True North Records did a wonderful job on the packaging.  The eight CDs are in four double-digipaks, nice and sturdy.  There is a 90 page booklet with complete track annotations as well as an essay by Nick Jennings.  The box sets are hand numbered, 3,000 copies, and are autographed by Cockburn.  I can think of two big reasons you should purchase this box set right off the top of my head.  First, and perhaps most importantly the music found here is top quality, songwriting and performance alike.  Cockburn is not to be underestimated as a songwriter of the highest order as well as a top flight guitarist.  Second, and arguably equally important is the incredible story of the state of the Earth as told by observer and reporter Bruce Cockburn.  Regardless, "Rumours Of Glory" is an incredible box set, get your copy before it sells out.

Review by Kevin Rathert/2016
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Èlg interview with Laurent Gérard

Do you ask a banana tree why bananas taste like they do?

In this interview, 36 years old Frenchman Laurent Gérard calls the music on his new album 'Mauve Zone' pocket symphonies, a ghost train journey, a mistery, an illusion, a puzzle and a cartoon. All correct.

Stanley Kubrick once said that you don't make a movie with a camera, but in the editing room. Could I say the same thing about your music: that recording is one thing, but that the real work is the editing, making layers, constructing the recordings?

Yes! You're right. All my albums are conceived like movies. Editing is very important. When recording an album I create sonic objects with the same artificial approach used in studio films. They are illusions. Albums recorded live are fantastic also, of course, but it's a completely different approach and up until now in my solo work the sequences are created separately and I piece them together like a puzzle to form an ensemble, looking for ways to find links. Everything is always linked on a subconscious level. It is a well thought out yet empirical process which would be very costly for classical film production. Kubrick was smart enough to get the Warner studios to back him up financially for three years while he developed '2001: Space Odyssey'. He had time to feel his way through it, which is rare in Hollywood cinema.           

In one way, the audio horror you create is kind of cartoonish and playful, but on the other hand, I also have the impression: "here's a perfectionist at work."

I've always found humour and derision in horror and anxiety in humour. They are interrelated, inseparable. Our anxiety and fears are ridiculous, in a way, on a universal scale. We often laugh about things that surpass us, that make us uncomfortable or give us vertigo. And cartoonish perfectionism exists! Mel Blanc is a perfect example. His voice work on the Tex Avery characters is very precise, almost maniacal! "That's all folks!", Mel Blanc's cath phrase, is actually on his tombstone in Los Angeles.

When I played this album for the first time, I thought it sounded recognisable. What would you define as 'your style'?

I don't know where it comes from or what it is. I just really love working. All the doubting and discouragement and all the transformations and illuminations that occur make what we call style. But than again: we don't ask banana trees why bananas taste like they do, do we? They're just bananas. They happen with time, molecule mingling and sunshine, bad luck sometimes or maybe a very fruity need to stand out and feel different.    

Do you see Ghédalia Tazartès as an influence or more as a colleague?

Ghédalia is and always will be an influence.We are excellent bar colleagues too.

I had to smile when I heard the guitar solo on the end of the A-side. A crappy tribute to Eddie Hazel's solo in 'Maggot Brain'?

I know the 'Maggot Brain' solo well, it's an excellent track! My crappy guitar solo salutes him! But I cry tears of sadness as it was not meant to be crappy but epic and beautiful. I will forever be misunderstood. 

You said you always find doing interviews difficult, but especially for a record like this one. Why so?

Because this record is a kind of mystery, even for me.

Your album has a dream kind of feeling (or a nightmare, a well air conditioned nightmare): you hear an Englishman talking, than a woman, than some field recordings, all connected by dark electronics on the background, and you think: "What's going on here?" What's the story? How are all these things connected? 

I love that idea of an air conditioned nightmare. Norman Mailer used to describe the US in those terms. What I can say now looking back on the elaboration of this ghost train journey is that the general feeling for me was slimy and opaque and I was looking for light. That's what ties everything together.

Who are the different voices on the record? 

There are three guests on this record: Catherine Hershey as the "Top-down" priestess, than Dylan Nyoukis as the narrator of the Lady Diana nightmare. And Alan "uncle Jim" Bishop as the mad man who brings the storm before the calm on B-side.

The French voice is yours, I suppose?

The French voice is mine but at the beginning of the B-side I speak in Mauvian, not French!

I remember once being in a Turkish bar with you in Brussels. You got irritated by the music that was playing. You hated the compressed sound, you said, and the dominant bass. It showed you are very much aware of the sound and the music that surrounds you. Do you think that you are more aware of this than other people? And do you see this as a plus or as a negative thing?

I was probably a grumpy potato that day. But yes I am very conscious of the sounds that surround me. Music that shuts up silence gives me a headache. I counter it by singing songs in my head and composing brain pocket symphonies. Sometimes in the metro I start tripping on the mechanical rhythms it creates, and on the sounds of metal screeching. When a metro musician with an accordion starts belting out "Besa me mucho" it can mess up my inner groove but I'll still give it a listen and help those guys out with money when I can. It takes a lot of nerve to be faced with indifference and play anyway. I don't know if I have the same courage that they do. I sometimes dream about playing and shouting in the street like a corner preacher. I try to be as present as possible when I listen to a record in my home. Otherwise I take John Cage's advice: if I want to listen to music, I open the window.

© Jonas Chéreau

Èlg fanpage

Interview by Joeri Bruyninckx/2016
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William Tyler - Modern Country (2016) review

William Tyler - Modern Country (Merge Records, 2016)

William Tyler, along with a notable cast of characters, including Wilco’s Glenn Kotche and Phil Cook of Megafaun, has managed the ultimate and unexpected feat of picking up right where John Fahey left off, laying down a stunning collection of instrumentally based atmospheric songs that fuse a range of moods that seldom rise above a heartbeat.

This is country, it’s also a sort of plaintive pastoral folk music laced with understated spacey synths and a gentle breezy pedal steel guitar that interweaves and intertwines with Tyler’s guitar work, where the music is nearly organic, designed to both summon emotions and wash them away in the same instant.  Not since the work done by Neil Young on the "Dead Man" soundtrack have I been so musically shaken, yet "Modern Country" is so very much more, with each song sounding for all the world as if they’re letters from another time and another place, where the simpleness of this music only goes to denote its complexities and brilliance.

Review by Jenell Kesler/2016
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The Earl Scruggs Revue - Live! From Austin City Limits (1977)

I first discovered Earl Scruggs as a wee lad in the 70s. One night I came across a TV show I’d never before seen called “Austin City Limits”. The guest that night was The Earl Scruggs Review, a country/rock/bluegrass band made up of five long-hairs in jeans and a grey-headed banjo player in a western shirt. It turned out that three of the five longhairs were the sons of Earl the banjo player. This was remarkable because I’d never seen an inter-generational rock band other than Jefferson Starship and The Partridge Family.

As the hour continued on, it became obvious that this old-timer was no Papa John Creach. His banjo was virtuosic, even to my un-country-fried ears. I liked the Dylan covers, the originals and even the bluegrass instrumentals (which I viewed as square-dance music). Admittedly, Gary Scruggs wasn’t much of a singer but his bass playing made up for it, and the rest of the band were tight and talented as well. Some months later the Columbia House catalog arrived, featuring The Earl Scruggs Review Live! From Austin City Limits. Needless to say I ordered a copy and actually paid for it (no one ever paid for Columbia House products). As a result “I Just Can’t Seem To Care” took up permanent residence in my sub-conscious (“Packed my bags while you lay sleeping/Left a note upon the door…”). And the fast version of “I Shall Be Released” still sounds more “right” to me than Richard Manuel and The Band (much as I like them).

I found out later about “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” which defined and revitalized the three-fingered banjo style and “The Ballad Of Jed Clampett” (from the “Beverly Hillbillies”) which brought that style to the 60s generation. Maybe because Earl was an instrumental virtuoso rather than a singer, his death hit me in a different way than the passing of most icons, who are usually singers.  I never became a huge fan of bluegrass or country music, but I can appreciate a virtuoso player who followed his muse and moved the world. Goodbye and thanks, Earl.

Review by Kevin F. Wozniak/2016
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Secret Colours - Secret Colours (2010) review

Secret Colours - Secret Colours (2010)

With each track being somewhat similar in their liquifying nature and structure, Secret Colours does not lose the conceptual flow, nor the psychic development and energy necessary to move and shift within the band’s hauntingly profound and compelling neo-psychedelic ebb and flow ... a flow that shimmers with delight, giving a modern take on what a historic lysergic adventure would have been like, in this, an almost acid-free culture and time.

Faster paced tracks overlay those of a slower nature seamlessly, unfolding with mild overtones of surf, sun, sand and heady libations.  Oddly compelling are the soft spoken lyrics that go down easy, giving each song a sense of urgency and displacement, creating a dream like mesmerizing atmosphere of nostalgic honesty and magical delight ... one filled with fuzzed out guitars, lingering instrumentals, along with a presentation that is worth drawing the blinds, and setting aside all else that’s going on in the world.
Review by Jenell Kesler/2016
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It's Psychedelic Baby presents: TAU - ‘Mother’

TAU TAU TAU is a wild archaic scream from the heart, woven from a seamless thread of prayers, chants, psychedelic invocations, and as Nunutzi says “songs of praise” in English, Spanish and Gaelic, shaken through pre-hispanic drums, bells, shakers, synths and acoustic guitar played “through an amp with a very shitty pick up that gives a weird sound.”
The recordings began in Berlin, by happenstance on the day Bowie died, the album was completed in a nine day live session. “ Though sad, for us it was a very good omen to start that day. There was a silent euphoria in the room, like being at the wake of an old friend with your closest friends. We made an altar for him for the huge inspiration that he was which stayed there until we finished the recording”.

© Nico Neefs

Featuring collaborations with Knox Chandler of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Earl Harvin of Tindersticks,  Nina Hynes and Miss Kenichi, TAU TAU TAU includes numerous additional vocalists and musicians, all of whom make their own unique contribution to the celebratory psychedelic folk of Tau.